More bad economic reports

Even the New York Times can't get around listing the bad economic reports, though this is described as "weak economic growth."

Service businesses like restaurants, hotels and financial companies experienced their weakest growth in 17 months in July, a new report said Wednesday. . . .

The trade group of purchasing executives said its index for services companies fell to 52.7, from 53.3 in June. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The I.S.M. index covers 90 percent of the work force. It reached a five-year high of 59.7 in February, but has fallen since then. The July reading was the lowest since February 2010. . . .

Separately, the Commerce Department reported that businesses cut orders for airplanes, autos and heavy machinery in June. Factory orders dropped 0.8 percent, the second decline in three months.

Demand for durable goods fell 1.9 percent in June. Durable goods are products that are expected to last at least three years. . . .

Consumer spending, which drives 70 percent of economic activity, fell in June for the first time since September 2009.

And manufacturers recorded their weakest growth in two years in July, according to the separate I.S.M. manufacturing index that was released Monday.

As the economy has slumped, so has hiring. Employers added only 18,000 jobs in June, the fewest in nine months. The unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent, the highest level this year. . . .

UPDATE: Add to that the collapse of stock prices (the DJIA falling by 512 points) and 400,000 filed for jobless benefits.



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